COVINGTON, Ga. - Since 2000, Newton County School System has used the one-cent Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for educational improvements. The improvements have made a positive impact on kids and helped the community to thrive. In May, voters will again be asked to support the renewal of eSPLOST in the General Obligation Bond referendum. By voting yes, education projects can continue to make positive impacts on our kids with the one-cent sales tax.
One of the biggest projects planned with the renewal of eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond is the new Eastside High School, which is estimated at $55 million with a proposed April 2021 completion date. The new school will help address the current problem of overcrowding. The school has an enrollment of 1,489 students with the school’s capacity of 1,325. Plans for the new school will handle 1,700 students and include larger classrooms to better support collaborative learning. In addition, the funds will help expand the athletic, arts education and agricultural education programs, improve the marketing education programs, and offer an ROTC program.
The construction of the new high school will also make room for the Newton County Theme School for kindergarten through eighth grades to relocate to the current Eastside High School location. The theme school faces an overcrowding problem with 1,000 students enrolled in the school, which has a capacity of 725. The new budget estimates $5 million to relocate the theme school.
Research shows that teachers spend most of their time managing an overcrowded classroom, and typically have less planning time and fewer resources in overpopulated schools. Indirectly, overcrowding may hinder student learning, reducing the quality of instructional planning and lowering morale among students and teachers.
“As Newton County grows, it is critical that we continue to address the problem of overcrowding in our schools and the quality of education that results from the increasing population. eSPLOST provides the means to help us address these concerns so our kids can thrive,” Ralph Staffins, president of the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, said.
The eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond provides a positive impact on the kids in Newton County because it provides the framework for education to continue to improve. In addition to building the new high school and relocating the theme school, projects include facility maintenance and improvements at existing facilities, purchase of technology, replacement of 45 school buses, improvements to Sharp Stadium and other athletic facilities, band equipment, and furniture replacement.
Newton County citizens are urged to go to the polls to vote yes on eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond on Tuesday, May 22. For more information about the May 22 election, visit http://www.voteyessplost.org/newtonesplost/.